Program Books/WAYNE SHORTER & ESPERANZA SPALDING’S …(Iphigenia)

WAYNE SHORTER & ESPERANZA SPALDING’S …(Iphigenia)

Saturday, February 12, 2022, 8pm
Zellerbach Hall

an opera created by Wayne Shorter and esperanza spalding

Wayne Shorter, Composer
esperanza spalding, Librettist
Lileana Blain-Cruz, Director
Clark Rundell, Conductor

A Real Magic production (esperanza spalding & Jeff Tang)
In association with Octopus Theatricals & Cath Brittan

…(Iphigenia) is commissioned by Cal Performances at the University of California, Berkeley, CA; The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, Washington, DC; The Broad Stage, Santa Monica, CA; ArtsEmerson, Boston, MA; MASS MoCA, North Adams, MA; and Carolina Performing Arts, Chapel Hill, NC.

This performance is made possible, in part, by the National Endowment for the Arts and an Anonymous Patron Sponsor

The run time for this performance is approximately 1 hour and 45 minutes, with no intermission.

From the Executive and Artistic Director

Jeremy Geffen

It gives me special pleasure to welcome you to tonight’s sold-out West Coast premiere of WAYNE SHORTER & ESPERANZA SPALDING’S …(Iphigenia), a Cal Performances co-commission that reimagines what opera can be and asks us to reexamine the stories we have inherited and the choices we make as a society. Shorter has written the music and spalding is the librettist and appears in the title role in this radical new take on Euripides’ ancient Greek play Iphigenia in Aulis. Together, their powerhouse creative team is headed by acclaimed director Lileana Blain-Cruz and iconic architect and designer Frank Gehry. I couldn’t be more pleased that you could join us this evening for what promises to be a memorable musical and theatrical experience.

While we at Cal Performances like to think of each of our programs as unique and remarkable, next week offers another season highlight when co-producers and stars Alicia Hall Moran (mezzo-soprano) and Jason Moran (piano) arrive on campus for the West Coast premiere of their brilliant Two Wings: The Music of Black America in Migration (Feb 17, Zellerbach Hall), a series of “gripping portraits of a vast social upheaval” (Chicago Tribune) that explores the Great Migration of six million Black Americans from the rural South to northern cities, the West, and beyond. This ambitious production (a Cal Performances Illumina­tions “Place and Displacement’ presentation) features a star-studded roster of guest performers, writers, and thinkers, headed by composer/conductor (and 2021 winner of the Pulitzer Prize for Music) Tania León, narrator Donna Jean Murch (author of Living for the City), and the Imani Winds chamber ensemble (to name just a few!). Together, these exceptional artists trace the Morans’ family histories through the music that accompanied their brave antecedents throughout the 20th century, from Harlem Renaissance-era jazz, gospel hymns, and Broadway show tunes, to classical and chamber music and the artists’ own compositions.

February marks the time each year when Cal Performances’ programming shifts into high gear. From now through the beginning of May, the remainder of our 2021­–22 season is packed with ambitious and adventurous programming. You won’t want to miss…

  • sensational dance performances like Memphis Jookin’: The Show, featuring Lil Buck (Feb 25–26); The Joffrey Ballet (Mar 4–6); and the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater (Mar 29 – Apr 3)
  • the West Coast premiere (Mar 12) of Place, Ted Hearne and Saul Williams’ bold meditation on the topographies of gentrification and displacement, another Illuminations “Place and Displace­ment” event
  • the renowned English Baroque Soloists with conductor Sir John Eliot Gardiner in a transfixing program of works by Mozart and Haydn (Apr 10)
  • the peerless London Symphony Orchestra (Mar 20), appearing under the direction of superstar conductor Sir Simon Rattle in a program of orchestral masterworks
  • pianist extraordinaire Mitsuko Uchida playing and directing Mozart with the Mahler Chamber Orchestra (Mar 27)
  • our 2021–22 artist-in-residence Angélique Kidjo in her brand new music-theater piece Yemandja (a highly anticipated Cal Performances co-commission and Illuminations event, Apr 23).

Fasten your seatbelts; we have all of this—plus much more—in store for you!

We’re very proud of our new and updated winter brochure and know that a few minutes spent reviewing our schedule—in print or online—will reveal a wealth of options for your calendar; now is the perfect time to guarantee that you have the best seats for all the events you plan to attend.

I know you join us in looking forward to what lies ahead, to coming together once again to encounter the life-changing experiences that only the live performing arts deliver. We can’t wait to share it all with you during the coming months.

Jeremy Geffen
Executive and Artistic Director, Cal Performances

Jeremy GeffenIt gives me special pleasure to welcome you to tonight’s sold-out West Coast premiere of WAYNE SHORTER & ESPERANZA SPALDING’S …(Iphigenia), a Cal Performances co-commission that reimagines what opera can be and asks us to reexamine the stories we have inherited and the choices we make as a society. Shorter has written the music and spalding is the librettist and appears in the title role in this radical new take on Euripides’ ancient Greek play Iphigenia in Aulis. Together, their powerhouse creative team is headed by acclaimed director Lileana Blain-Cruz and iconic architect and designer Frank Gehry. I couldn’t be more pleased that you could join us this evening for what promises to be a memorable musical and theatrical experience.

While we at Cal Performances like to think of each of our programs as unique and remarkable, next week offers another season highlight when co-producers and stars Alicia Hall Moran (mezzo-soprano) and Jason Moran (piano) arrive on campus for the West Coast premiere of their brilliant Two Wings: The Music of Black America in Migration (Feb 17, Zellerbach Hall), a series of “gripping portraits of a vast social upheaval” (Chicago Tribune) that explores the Great Migration of six million Black Americans from the rural South to northern cities, the West, and beyond. This ambitious production (a Cal Performances Illumina­tions “Place and Displacement’ presentation) features a star-studded roster of guest performers, writers, and thinkers, headed by composer/conductor (and 2021 winner of the Pulitzer Prize for Music) Tania León, narrator Donna Jean Murch (author of Living for the City), and the Imani Winds chamber ensemble (to name just a few!). Together, these exceptional artists trace the Morans’ family histories through the music that accompanied their brave antecedents throughout the 20th century, from Harlem Renaissance-era jazz, gospel hymns, and Broadway show tunes, to classical and chamber music and the artists’ own compositions.

February marks the time each year when Cal Performances’ programming shifts into high gear. From now through the beginning of May, the remainder of our 2021­–22 season is packed with ambitious and adventurous programming. You won’t want to miss…

  • sensational dance performances like Memphis Jookin’: The Show, featuring Lil Buck (Feb 25–26); The Joffrey Ballet (Mar 4–6); and the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater (Mar 29 – Apr 3)
  • the West Coast premiere (Mar 12) of Place, Ted Hearne and Saul Williams’ bold meditation on the topographies of gentrification and displacement, another Illuminations “Place and Displace­ment” event
  • the renowned English Baroque Soloists with conductor Sir John Eliot Gardiner in a transfixing program of works by Mozart and Haydn (Apr 10)
  • the peerless London Symphony Orchestra (Mar 20), appearing under the direction of superstar conductor Sir Simon Rattle in a program of orchestral masterworks
  • pianist extraordinaire Mitsuko Uchida playing and directing Mozart with the Mahler Chamber Orchestra (Mar 27)
  • our 2021–22 artist-in-residence Angélique Kidjo in her brand new music-theater piece Yemandja (a highly anticipated Cal Performances co-commission and Illuminations event, Apr 23).

Fasten your seatbelts; we have all of this—plus much more—in store for you!

We’re very proud of our new and updated winter brochure and know that a few minutes spent reviewing our schedule—in print or online—will reveal a wealth of options for your calendar; now is the perfect time to guarantee that you have the best seats for all the events you plan to attend.

I know you join us in looking forward to what lies ahead, to coming together once again to encounter the life-changing experiences that only the live performing arts deliver. We can’t wait to share it all with you during the coming months.

Jeremy Geffen
Executive and Artistic Director, Cal Performances

Synopsis

Iphigenia
Life’s Grammar…
You are all what the myth can’t bear.
You are an open tense,
To carry what could come.

—Artemis
(from Act 2, libretto by esperanza spalding)

Iphigenia was born to be sacrificed—or so the myth would have us believe, but what if she contests her fate? What if she says no? What if the winds don’t blow and the sails hang limp in the sea air? What if Helen isn’t her problem at all and instead of bowing to the relentlessness of men blinded by the promise of war, she wakes up and remembers who she is—and says no.

If your memory of the myth is blurry, don’t worry. These men are everywhere still, and this woman, too, this woman who says no—she’s also here, and she might be you. In Act 1 we’re lost between repeats in the cyclical time of trauma. One by one, another Iphigenia is sacrificed at the altar to appease Artemis, supposedly. The army is desperate for wind so they can set sail and wage war, and Artemis could compel the air to move if she felt inclined. The men are drunk, literally, but also drunk on self satisfaction, patriotism, and desire—they are children wielding power and carrying weapons, and they hardly notice the dead women that litter the ground beneath them.

IphigeniaIn Act 2, those women, each of them different manifestations of the myth, find each other outside of time—Artemis holds the space and weaves a thread between them. They arrive together in solidarity; they share their struggle, their sadness, strength, fury, and love. They tell their stories so that the one among them who might interrupt the myth and incite all the other stories, all the other possibilities, gathers the strength and tenderness to do so.

Myth is terribly strong and terribly seductive. How often have you suddenly woken up from the one you didn’t know you were playing out, or rather the one that was playing you out? How many times did you have to suffer through it before noticing? In Act 3, we’re back in it. Disoriented, and confused, the new Iphigenia is forced back into the myth and offered the opportunity to let go of the myth and show us all how to make something else. The opera ends in “open tense,” none of us, onstage or off, knows exactly what will happen. The ethic of improvisation takes over—the possibility of an open tense—and the art of listening and responding deeply and at the same time; what other worlds could that code of conduct and compassion create?

—Sunder Ganglani,
Dramaturg

Note from Composer Wayne Shorter

A Thank You from Wayne Shorter

Featuring
esperanza spalding, Iphigenia of the Open Tense
Brenda Pressley, Usher
Samuel White, Agamemnon
Brad Walker, Menelaos
Kelly Guerra, Iphigenia Unbound, Opera Broadcast Host
Eliza Bagg, Iphigenia of the Sea
Sharmay Musacchio, Iphigenia the Elder
Nivi Ravi, Iphigenia the Younger
Alexandra Smither, Iphigenia of the Light
Tyler Bouque, Kalchas

With
Danilo Pérez, piano
John Patitucci, bass
Brian Blade, drums

Berkeley Symphony

Frank Gehry, Set Design
Montana Levi-Blanco, Costume Design
Jen Schriever, Lighting Design
Mark Grey, Sound Design
Cookie Jordan, Hair Design
Joya Giambrone, Make-up Design
Sunder Ganglani, Dramaturg
Phillip Golub and Clark Rundell, Musical Dramaturgy

Orchestrations by Wayne Shorter
Additional orchestrations and arrangements by Clark Rundell
Additional vocal arrangements by Caroline Shaw, esperanza spalding, and Phillip Golub
Additional text by Ganavya Doraiswamy, Joy Harjo, and Safiya Sinclair
Selected text from Act III excerpted from Iphigenia by Charles S. Elgutter (1904)

Produced by Jeff Tang, Cath Brittan, and Mara Isaacs

Teresa Cruz, Assistant Director
Jessica Crawford, Associate Costume Designer
Domino Mannheim, Associate Lighting Designer
Jonathan Burke, Associate Sound Designer

Henry Valoris, Production Manager & COVID Compliance
Pamela Salling, Production Stage Manager
Samantha Greene, Stage Manager
Alex Fetchko, Lighting Supervisor
Elizabeth Ryan Reynolds, Wardrobe Supervisor
Ruth DeSarno, Supertitles
Jo Parks, Supertitles Operator
Upstate Scenic, Props Construction
Jeffrey Wallach, Fritz Maston, and Marie Stair, Costume Construction

Phillip Golub, Music Coordinator
Leo Genovese, Consulting Workshop Pianist
Music copyists: Phillip Golub, David Leon, Jean John, Tamzin Elliott, Zach Hicks, Jake Kaplan, Sammy Lesnick, Jonas Tarm, Edmar Colón

Alisse Kingsley/Muse Media PR, Publicity
ffflypaper, Social Media

Real Magic
esperanza spalding, Co-Founder
Jeff Tang, Co-Founder & Executive Creative Producer
Cath Brittan, Producer
Jenna Wolf, External Relations and Advancement
Mika Shino, Development and Partnerships Producer
Adriana Perry Consulting, LLC, Accountant
Angel K. Tang & Scott Tang, Legal
Elena Park, Special Advisor
Munira Khapra-Reininger, Fundraising Consultant
Lenny’s Studio, Additional Design
Anita Johnson, Special Projects Assistant

Octopus Theatricals
Mara Isaacs, Founder and Executive/Creative Producer
Michael Francis, Business Manager
Bryan Hunt, Production Coordinator
Sophie Blumberg, Adam Hyndman, Rob Laqui, Associate Producers
Kendra Holloway, Executive Assistant

Chorus

Tenor
Kevin Gino

Baritones
Ryne Cherry
James Dargan
Thomas Valle Hoag

Bass-Baritones
Michael Galvin
Nathan Halbur

Berkeley Symphony
Violin I
Franklyn D’Antonio, concertmaster
Matthew Szemela, associate concertmaster
Emanuela Nikiforova, assistant concertmaster
Candace Sanderson
Daniel Lewin

Violin II
Ilana Thomas, principal
Monika Gruber, assistant principal
David Cheng
Lisa Zadek

Viola
Darcy Rindt, principal
Ivo Bokulic, assistant principal
Alex Volonts

Cello
Carol Rice, principal
Isaac Pastor-Chermak, assistant principal
Chloé Mendola

Bass
Michel Taddei, principal

Flute
Emma Moon, principal

Oboe
Jessica Pearlman, principal

English Horn
Bennie Cottone

Clarinet
Dan Ferreira, principal

Bass Clarinet
Bruce Foster

Bassoon
Rufus Olivier, principal

Horn
Alex Camphouse, principal
Alicia Mastromonaco

Trumpet
John Freeman, principal
Owen Miyoshi

Trombone
Tom Hornig, principal

Bass Trombone
Kurt Patzner

Generous support for … (Iphigenia) is provided by the Ford Foundation, The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation, the New England Foundation for the Arts’ National Theater Project, Alexander Leff, Thomas M. Neff, the Stavros Niarchos Foundation, Harold Goode, Susan and Rick Feldman, New Music USA, Victoria Lee, Virginia Mancini, and everyone who gave to the … (Iphigenia) crowdfunding campaign.

Real Magic is an affiliate of, and fiscally sponsored by, the Producer Hub

Yamaha Piano provided by Yamaha Artist Services New York, in association with Piedmont Piano in Oakland, CA

Gratitude to our individual major gift donors
Alexander Leff
Thomas M. Neff
Harold Goode
Susan Horowitz and Rick Feldman
Victoria Lee
Virginia Mancini

esperanza spalding thanks
Leo Genovese, Carolina and Wayne Shorter, Penny Woolcock, Lileana Blain-Cruz, Avery Willis Hoffman, Thulani Davis, Joy Harjo, Viktor Ewing Givens, Ganavya Doraiswamy, Carolyn Abbate, Safiya Sinclair, Anthony Davis, Sunder Ganglani, John Ridley, Daniel Beaty, Jocelyn Clark, IONE, my mother.

Special Thanks
Harvard University Department of Music, The Park Avenue Armory, The Royal Northern College of Music, Manchester, UK, Frank and Berta Gehry, Wayne and Carolina Shorter, Penny Woolcock, David Dower, Dean Robin Kelsey, Jocelyn Clarke, Avery Willis-Hoffman, Craig Webb, Melina Girardi, Matthew Kabala, Héloïse Darcq, Sarah and Peter Mandell, Joni Mitchell, Vicky Ray, David Levy, Sarah Williams, Ryun Schienbein, Katherine Ikeda, Nanette Nelms, Renée Fleming, Karen Slack, Herbie Hancock, Wayne Winborne and the Rutgers University Institute of Jazz Studies, Newark, New York Theatre Workshop, Bianca Bailey & New York Live Arts, Gargi Shindé and Chamber Music America

Time and freedom for Mr. Shorter to compose …(Iphigenia) was made possible by a special gift from Jörg Mohaupt.

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